CarPlay is a system released by Apple Inc. It integrates iOS devices, iOS using experience, and the car infotainment system seamlessly, which makes it runs smoothly and intelligent. Using the voice assistant Siri makes drivers more focused on driving, many users love it. Similarly, Google has a similar smartphone connection platform called Android Auto. Most of the hundreds of car models that currently support CarPlay also support Android Auto, but there are also a few brands support only one of them. For example, BMW currently only supports CarPlay. So when we talk about CarPlay, we also included Android Auto.
The main functions of CarPlay include Navigation, Phone, Message, Music, etc. It’s very convenient and efficient to complete various operations by factory buttons, touch screen and intelligent voice assistant Siri (The voice assistant on Android Auto is Google Assistant). Some people might ask “Can CarPlay/Android Auto watch videos? “ The answer is NO! For driving safety, CarPlay/Android Auto doesn’t allow users to use apps that require excessive distraction to watch the screen, such as YouTube, Facebook, Twitter…but message app like WhatsApp is allowed, but functions are not as complete as on the Phone, after all, driving safety is first.
OK, after a brief introduction of the CarPlay, do you want to install it for your car?
Some of the new models released in the last two or three years on the market have been equipped with CarPlay/Android Auto functions, those without this function can be obtained through the following ways:
1. CarPlay Integration for OE infotainment
These CarPlay integration interfaces can add the CarPlay functionality while maintaining the car original infotainment system, and it will not damage any original functionality of the car, nor will it affect the car warranty policy. It’s a system independent of the OEM multimedia system that switched by the central control or steering wheel buttons. In addition to all the functions of the CarPlay, it also integrates Android Auto, Smartphone Mirroring, USB stick HD multimedia playback, and RCA interface for connecting front/rear view cameras, DVR, etc. More importantly, this system also supports PAS (Parking Assist System) functionality providing dynamic guidelines and parking distance control, which makes it easier for users to reverse.
Now our CarPlay integration modules are compatible with many car models, including Mercedes-Benz NTG 4.5/4.7/5.0/5.1 (Comand Online & Audio 20), Audi MMI/2G/3G/3G+, Audi Symphony & Concert, BMW NBT (High-CIC), NBT-EVO, VW MIB2, etc.
2. CarPlay USB Dongle + Aftermarket Android/WinCE Car Stereo
If your car model does not appear in the CarPlay Interface compatibility list, you can also use this way to get CarPlay, but you must replace the original car entertainment system (It would be the best if you had installed an Android aftermarket car radio). Nowadays, there are various brands of Android car stereos available on the market, you only need to purchase one to install in your car, install the APK software, and then connect the CarPlay USB dongle. No need for complicated wiring. Then you can use the CarPlay feature. Like our CarPlay video interface module, this USB dongle is also multifunctional, including CarPlay, Android Auto, Mirroring and more.
This product is now compatible with 90% of the Android stereos on the market, it’s very popular. Maybe you will ask if it works for Wince head units. Yes, it works. But currently, the compatible solutions are limited and it needs to be improved.
3. Pioneer/Kenwood/Sony Car Head Unit
As we know, Pioneer/Kenwood/JVC/Alpine/Sony/Clarion are very well known in the automotive field. In recent years, they have also released some aftermarket car stereos that support CarPlay. Of course, it is not the Android system mentioned above. These stereos have built-in CarPlay/Android Auto features, no need to connect additional devices. Of course, the premise is that the factory radio needs to be replaced. Moreover, these built-in CarPlay stereos prices are not cheap.
Well, after introducing above 3 CarPlay retrofit ways, which one to choose?
If you don't want to replace the original car infotainment system and consider the vehicle warranty and other issues, it is best to use the CarPlay integration interface, non-destructive installation, and functions are powerful.
If you think that it doesn't matter to replace the original car multimedia system, then you can consider option 2 or option 3. But, if you already have an installed Android stereo in your car, then option 2 is the most convenient. Otherwise, consider your wallet. : D
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